FarmStart Invests in Record Number of Startup Ag Businesses in 2017

FarmStart, an innovative Northeast program to help individuals get started in agriculture, announced it invested in 44 beginning farmer and fishing businesses last year, making it a record year for the program. Since the program’s inception, it has committed more than $11.3 million dollars to 251 beginning farmers.

“Farm Credit East has a long-term commitment of helping individuals get started in farming, forest products and commercial fishing,” said Bill Lipinski, Farm Credit East CEO. “We recognize the demands for capital and financial management skills that can make it difficult to establish a new business, so we’re pleased to provide through FarmStart the capital and support to get them started.”

“This record number of investments in beginning agriculture businesses speaks to the growing interest of young entrepreneurs to get started in farming, fishing and related industries,” commented Lynn Weaver, FarmStart program manager.

The first initiative of its kind in the United States, FarmStart helps to fulfill Farm Credit’s vision of a vibrant, entrepreneurial agricultural community today and tomorrow. The program invests working capital of up to $75,000 to help new northeast agricultural businesses become operational. A FarmStart advisor works with each participant to help the new business stay on track toward achieving their business objectives. FarmStart has also invested in a startup farmer-owned cooperative and a food hub enterprise.

FarmStart, LLP was initiated by Farm Credit East and CoBank as part of Farm Credit’s long-term commitment to the future of agriculture. Yankee Farm Credit joined the program in 2011. To learn more about the FarmStart program, visit